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Venezuela Drone Attack | Iran Sanctions | Zimbabwe Election Violence


Council on Foreign Relations Newsletter If you are unable to see the message below, click here to view. August 6, 2018 Daily News Brief   TOP OF THE AGENDA Venezuela Hunts for Drone Attackers Venezuelan authorities arrested six people (AP) as part of their search for the perpetrators of an assassination attempt against President Nicolas Maduro on Saturday. Maduro, who had been addressing a military parade in Caracas, was unharmed in the drone attack. At least one local group claimed responsibility for the explosions on social media, though Maduro alleged that right-wing opponents, Colombia, and the United States were behind the incident (NYT). Seven people were injured in the attack (Guardian), according to Venezuela’s information minister. The interior minister said the military knocked one of the drones off course while the other crashed into an apartment building. ANALYSIS “Unpopular Maduro looked keen to project himself as fully in charge of Venezuela’s military, long a powerbroker, when he addressed its National Guard from a major Caracas avenue on Saturday. Then it all went terribly wrong,” tweeted Reuters’ Alexandra Ulmer. “It’s an excellent distraction to the grave political and social crisis that Venezuelans are living through,” Rocio San Miguel said in an interview with Bloomberg. “This will be used again to place blame on the opposition and place blame on foreign governments that have supported the opposition,” Fabiana Perera of Foreign Policy Interrupted said in an interview with CTV News. UNITED STATES U.S. to Reinstate Iran Sanctions The White House is expected today to detail new sanctions on Iran (RFE/RL) targeting its industries and purchases of U.S. banknotes that would go into effect on Tuesday. U.S. sanctions on Iran were lifted following a landmark 2015 nuclear agreement but are set to return after the Trump administration withdrew from the deal. PACIFIC RIM Scores Killed in Indonesia Quake Indonesia’s national disaster agency expects the death toll from a Sunday evening earthquake, now at ninety-eight, to rise as rescuers search (AFP) among thousands of destroyed buildings. The 6.9-magnitude earthquake off the islands of Lombok and Bali was the second deadly quake (Guardian) in a week. CAMBODIA: Prime Minister Hun Sen, in power for thirty-three years, rejected criticism of a July 29 election in which his party won all 125 seats in parliament. He said he would stake his own life (AFP) on the legitimacy of the vote. SOUTH AND CENTRAL ASIA NATO Soldiers Killed in Afghan Suicide Attack Three NATO soldiers from the Czech Republic were killed and several Afghan and American servicemembers were injured in a suicide attack (VOA) in Parwan Province, north of Kabul. The Taliban claimed it carried out a “tactical blast” against a U.S. military convoy in Parwan’s capital. In Foreign Affairs, Barnett R. Rubin writes that great powers can end the war in Afghanistan. BANGLADESH: A vehicle carrying U.S. Ambassador Marcia Bernicat was attacked by a group of armed men as she left the home (Dhaka Tribune) of a local advocacy group leader in Dhaka; Bernicat was unharmed (U.S. Embassy). MIDDLE EAST AND NORTH AFRICA Saudi Arabia Expels Canadian Envoy Saudi Arabia expelled Canada’s ambassador to the country, recalled its envoy in Canada, and announced a freeze on new trade and investment transactions over what it called interference in its domestic affairs. The move appears to be in response to a tweet (CBC) by Canada’s foreign ministry raising concern over the recent arrests of Saudi women activists. EGYPT: Hamza bin Laden, son of late al-Qaeda leader Osama bin Laden, has married the daughter (Guardian) of Egyptian 9/11 hijacker Mohammed Atta, according to his family. They said the pair may be living in Afghanistan. SUB-SAHARAN AFRICA South Sudanese Rivals Sign Power-Sharing Deal Under the deal signed by both sides yesterday (AP), President Salva Kiir will remain in office, rebel leader Riek Machar will return to the vice presidency, and top offices will be distributed among the rival parties, as well as six other groups. ZIMBABWE: The opposition Movement for Democratic Change said security forces have beaten and arrested dozens of its supporters (FT) since President Emmerson Mnangagwa declared victory in last week’s disputed election. Amnesty International called the arrests a “vicious campaign” to suppress dissent. CFR’s Michelle D. Gavin discusses the violence that has marred Zimbabwe’s election. EUROPE Russia Names American Actor as U.S. Envoy Moscow announced that action-movie star Steven Seagal will serve as an unpaid special representative to improve relations with the United States (NYT). Seagal has called President Vladimir Putin a personal friend. Former U.S. Ambassador to Russia Michael McFaul discussed relations between Washington and Moscow on this episode of the President’s Inbox podcast. PORTUGAL: The temperature reached a record 116 degrees Fahrenheit (FT) in central Portugal while much of the rest of the country felt temperatures above 104 degrees. Some 1,600 firefighters were deployed to combat thirty blazes over the weekend. AMERICAS Brazilian Party Nominates Imprisoned Lula Brazil’s Workers’ Party announced on Saturday that former President Luiz Inacio Lula da Silva, who is serving a twelve-year prison sentence for corruption, will be its presidential candidate (NYT) in an October general election.         Council on Foreign Relations — 58 East 68th Street — New York, NY 10065 CFR does not share email addresses with third parties. Forward This Email | Subscribe to CFR Newsletters | Unsubscribe - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - -  


Date: August 06, 2018 at 10:06PM